Shoplifting Essay

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Shoplifting When someone steals merchandise offered for sale in a retail store it is generically called shoplifting. To commit shoplifting one must "intend" to permanently deprive the merchant of the value of the merchandise. Shoplifting most often occurs by concealing merchandise in a purse, pocket or bag but can occur by a variety of methods. Most shoplifters are amateurs. However, there are growing numbers of people who make their living by stealing from retail stores. Amateur shoplifter can be highly skilled, and some steal almost every day, but don't do it to make a living. Most amateurs are…show more content…
Children and elderly persons sometime steal without realizing they are committing a crime. In urban cities, it is not unusual to find a network of "fences" who send out teams of shoplifters into specific retail stores to shoplift specific items, much like filling an order for a customer. The fences only pay 10-20 cents on the dollar to the thieves and sometimes pay their room, board, and provide training on how to steal and defeat the anti-theft technology. Some fences have been known to bail their workers out of jail when caught or provide for their legal defense. This creates a kind of strange street loyalty much like the tale of Oliver Twist.

Theft from stores, including employee and vendor theft, cost retailers many billions of dollars per year. Independent retail studies* have estimated theft from retail stores costs the American public 33.21 billion dollars per year. Depending on the type of retail store, retail inventory shrinkage ranges from .5% - 6% of gross sales with the average falling around 1.75%. Whole retail store chains have gone out of business due to their inability to control retail theft losses. And worse yet, the cost of these losses are passed on to us...the consumer.

Shoplifting losses will vary by store type, but can account for about one-third of the total inventory shrinkage. It is estimated that shoplifting
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